My Zombie Homecoming

I was so excited about coming home for Thanksgiving for a variety of reasons. I wouldn’t be at school doing work for the first part. Secondly I would get to see my extended family on Thanksgiving, and my boyfriend. But one part I slightly overlooked while telling myself this, was that I was really excited about was seeing my friends from my Quaker youth group! Unlike many other Quakers, there are a lot of youth in my meeting, the senior class alone had eleven members last year, which made up about a third of the entire group. However, we all went to different schools, and haven’t gotten all together since right before we left for university. I’ve been feeling particularly lonely recently, so seeing then was fantastic!

We always meet the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving so all of the high school graduates can come back and be with the group. For a while it looked as if most of us were college students, and the normal group was going to be a minority! It evened out after all, and we went to eat Chinese food at Chinese Kitchen, per tradition, because other restaurants are normally closed. I ate the Sesame Tofu, which is fantastic, and got all my friend love…

So then the tone shifts. We meet the night before Thanksgiving because we are all in town, to get away from family, and because no one else is in the meeting house that night to prevent us from playing Zombie. Zombie is a game the group made up years before I was a part of it, and the point of it is to scare the shit out of you. During the game, all of the lights must be turned off, and we go so far as to turn the exit signs off, or in the case of Wednesday, find boxers left over from our yard sale and throw them over the signs. We all meet in a room and draw cards, whoever gets, say the Joker, will be the killer. But the key to the game is that no one must know you are the killer, and then everyone leaves the room, and wanders around the dark empty meetinghouse.My meeting house is larger than most and features a long running hallway and an expansive basement, with plenty of rooms to hide in. One is killed when the killer comes up behind you and covers your mouth with their hand, and then you become a zombie. The zombies don’t really do anything, they just can’t talk and wander around like everyone else. If you see the killer kill, or you escape while they are coming at you, you can scream “Samm is the killer!” or “Lizzie is the killer” or whoever the killer happens to be. This is the scary part because the zombies come alive and try to prevent you from reaching the meeting room, which is base. The game is over when everyone is either a zombie or safe.

So this is what for weeks I’ve been looking forward to, a cathartic game of zombie with my peaceful Quaker youth group, a time to scare myself and friends and to be scared and to laugh. And honestly, it was the best part of my homecoming so far.

Do you have any crazy holiday traditions? Any silly customs to reunite with friends?

Love, Paige

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The Delightful, Or Not So Delightful, Zucchini Bread

I love zucchini bread. Like realllly love it. It’s a sweet bread not far from banana with a slightly nutty flavor, and it’s healthy! If you look past the sugar of course. I’ve been making it since my childhood. My mom and I love vegetables, unlike my sister and Dad (they’ve improved greatly since then, thank goodness) and we were so excited to incorporate zucchini into a bread. We gave some to Abby and Dad, and they wouldn’t touch it, saying it was strange and green, and other silly things vegetable haters frequently say. The next time we made it we told them it was banana bread and they loved it, amusingly, so we kept it a secret for a few years before embarrassing them and revealing their vegetable bias…Now they’ve come over to the vegetable loving side muahahaha!

Anyways, so this past week I got a deal on some zucchinis, but then I had six, and not being at home I could only cook for myself and my roommate so I was trying to get creative with the zucchini. We put  some in soup, and a stir-fry, and finally I tried zucchini bread. This would normally be fine and dandy, but I didn’t have any eggs…and I can’t walk or bike to the store. So I tried using bananas as a substitute for the eggs…but it didn’t work out. Didn’t I mention in my bio that I experiment often with disastrous results? Well there you have it. It was moist beyond belief, though not crumbly as some vegan things can be. It was so moist that it made a squelching sound when coming out of the pan. Ooops! I actually didn’t taste it. It was that gross.

I went home for the weekend, bringing a last unused zucchini for my family to cook with, and soon put the zucchini bread out of my mind. Maybe I would cook some other baked treasure, some other delicious meal, and I would have eggs or at least follow a proper vegan recipe…So I came home for dinner with my grandmother one night and my mom, laughing, presented me with a loaf of… you guessed it! Zucchini Bread! My grandmother, not knowing the story, had decided to buy me one for the grocery store as a present. It was redemptive, delicious, and quite hilarious.

Do you have any amusing cooking experiments gone wrong? Or right?

Muchos besos,

Paige

Why moist is a bad word to use when describing a cereal bar

I was rather surprised today when, searching for sustenance on an overly long and dull coach journey, I opened up what was tag-lined as a ‘moist organic blueberry and oat bar’. Delicious as it was my surprise came from the fact that ‘moist’ is such a controversial word. You only need say it and, in my experience, you will be met by a host of shudders and ‘god I just hate that word?’, ‘Don’t you just hate that word,’ and everyone will nod and a group shake will pass around. In fact the only situation where moist seems to be an even vaguely sociably acceptable adverb is when talking about cake – ‘The cakes lovely and moist isn’t it Gladys?’ – but still there will be at least one person who can’t quite handle it and dives down into a moist ridden pit of despair. ‘Moist’ they groan, ‘not moist, say its dry for all I care but please for the love of all that is holy do not use the m-word.’

Moist

But what is it about the word? The snake like hiss? The unfortunate connotations with second rate erotica?  The very dampness it brings to mind? Who knows… For my part I quite like the word, in a weirdly cringey kind of way. I tend to like things that are a wee bit taboo, for no other reason than well they are such (yes, its a bad reason to like things but it probably won’t stop me). And it rolls off the tongue quite nicely. And of course, you get a little bit of satisfaction from being able to reduce a room to collective shudders quite nicely – awkward conversation, just drop the m-word and all will be well in the world.

Are you a moist-a-phobe (I’m sure there is a technical term, if you know it let me know)? Or are there any other words you particularly hate?

Ta-ra 

Hannah

All the Aches and Pains

Since I’ve started University I’ve noticed my body’s needs more. I think it’s because I’ve had a break from normal schedule, I don’t wake up at seven, go to school at nine, come home at four and go to sleep at eleven anymore, and for the most part that’s a good thing. I have a bit of a hike to classes from my monolithic ten story dorm and find it ridiculous that I’m moving considerably more now than a few months ago. Mostly my aches have come from walking at least a cumulative mile every day, but others have come from sitting, slouching and the like.

So on the topic of sitting and slouching while doing my homework, I do not have fun. No, that’s not true, I’m a very social person and love people, but also not one to jump into things, and for that I have not really gone to parties here. Parties in themselves don’t scare me, but finding the right party is the stressor. For those of you who may be unfamiliar to fraternities and sororities, or greek life as they call it, it consists of small organizations of mostly affluent college students who profess brotherhood, or occasionally something more substantial like service, but who tend to just be groups who throw large parties, that are sometimes quite unsafe. My university has a plethora of these and I don’t care much for them. So sitting on my bum doing work and not going out on a regular basis has led me to feel thoroughly un-fun.

But not anymore! This week I saw a band called Cocorosie at a Chapel Hill’s popular venue, the Cat’s Cradle. It was so awesome, with multiple costume changes, beat boxing and hauntingly operatic voices, the music was surprisingly danceable though my feet paid for it in the end. Friday I went out again, this time to a 90’s dance hosted by UNC’s radio station. It was uniquely open to students exclusively and I danced the night away…which brings me back to those aches and pains. Standing, dancing, my body says why? You didn’t tell me this would all happen at once! But I say, you’re welcome, because it was totally worth getting out and having a good time.

~Paige

As cold nights draw in…

…all I want to do is snuggle up in bed and read. I did, however, venture out into the cold darkness this evening to a firework display. For those of you who are not British every 5th November we celebrate something called Bonfire or Guy Fawkes night; a celebration of a failed assassination attempt on King James I. The unfortunate Guy Fawkes was found guarding gun powder underneath the House of Lords and lets face it, there isn’t any way to get out of that situation looking good. In this case Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder plot co-conspirators were hung drawn and quartered. Since that hapless day back in 1605 we have celebrated the plots failure with bonfires, traditionally burning a Guy Fawkes effigy, and nowadays firework displays.

In fact this year I have done away with a bonfire altogether (not by choice I might add) and have just gone to a firework display. It was a lot of fun, although very cold as we went early to get a good spot and were waiting around. We managed to entertain ourselves however with terrible pictures and an especially horrendous reproduction of the infamous potter puppets song (go look it up if you haven’t seen it – it is definitely an experience).

What have you been doing now its getting colder and darker in the evening? Unless of course you are a reader from the other side of the world in which case I ask what you are doing now that its getting warm and sunny?

Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

Fireworks

Ta-Ra Duck,

Hannah

Meet Hannah-Mary and Paige

* Frantic Waving * Blows Kisses *

Howdy Y’all and welcome to our blog The Trans- Atlantic Sisterhood. We’re Hannah – Mary and Paige, two university freshman, best friends separated by an ocean and are the authors of this, ahem, distinguished blog. Here is a bit more about us and then – on with the show.

How we met:

Hannah-Mary and I met two summers ago on an absolutely amazing, month-long Quaker trip through England, Belgium and the Netherlands. It was a spiritual trip and we instantly connected through the experience of living together; talking every day and enduring the wonderful stress of traveling that can bring you together very quickly. Now my best friend lives across the Atlantic!!!

And since then?

Well…we emailed every few weeks and did a pretty horrible job of skyping….but then one day I got a facebook message. Hannah-Mary was coming to America! To Greensboro in fact. So she did. And it was amazing. After spending Christmas together we took a greyhound to Chicago and spent a few days with a friend before I returned. We got to catch up with a lot of our friends from the trip, as everyone was free from their scholarly shackles for the Christmas holidays. As Hannah-Mary continued her journey across my large country, I went back to school and saw her twice before her two-month long journey was up. Since then we have intermittently messaged each other on facebook and skyped much more often than before!

What we like to do:

We thought it would be a good idea to share a blog because we enjoy so many of the same things, be it the somewhat ironic combination of feminism and cooking or our love for Arts festivals and reading. But here we are going to split off from our one voice to share our particular tastes.

Hannah-Mary:

I love learning how to do new things, especially of the crafty variety so you can often find me with my jewelery kit out or pushing paints around in my art journal. It also accounts for the fact I’ve just started doing theatre tech at university which you will no doubt hear more about. Facillitated by my Edinburgh living I’ve just started getting into live music and I will never turn you down if you ask me to go to a pub, or better yet a cocktail bar. I love dancing like a crazy person and singing along to things out of tune. I’m often up for a good debate and once yelled at a friend for saying she wasn’t a feminist (which is actually pretty unusual as I’m normally very laid back). And…well, I’ll let you discover the rest yourself, got to give you a reason to read the actual blog after all.

Paige:

I love reading, gardening and experimenting in the kitchen, the last two of which occasionally does not work out as I intend, but make for interesting adventures nonetheless. Also you should know I really like ginger, just a side note… Most see me as a pretty calm and relaxed person, I try to be, but do not let that deceive you! I consider myself a strong individual who is always up for a challenge. More than anything I want to travel. I want to go everywhere! I definitely want to visit Hannah, but Latin America and my own gigantic country, and anywhere else would be great too. Anyways, come with me on my quest to have more amazing times and adventures!

Our lives today:

After our lovely reunion this winter Hannah went off to Edinburgh to volunteer and I finished high school. Hooray! So now we are at extremely similar points in our lives, both of us in our freshmen terms at college (or first-year as my University tries so hard to be politically correct…).  So as we plunder though our studies we will have this blog to help us through (and help us procrastinate)!

Why do we want to start this blog:

We both consider ourselves artistic people, and a blog seemed like a lovely project to help express ourselves as well as stay in touch with one another. We both been interested in starting one before, and having someone else to do it with will make us more accountable, like a running buddy, but with less exercise and more talking.